|SAO Abridged Parody|
Something Witty Entertainment
March 29, 2013 - Ongoing
SAO (Sword Art Online) Abridged Parody is an abridged series by Something Witty Entertainment under the YouTube channel SWEabridged. It is a parody of the anime series Sword Art Online. The plot follows very closely to the original series, but characters are often quite different from their canon counterparts, and some even have different names. For more information please visit Sword Art Online Abridged wiki.
It is the year 2022. Thanks to Kayaba Akihiko, his company Argus, and their latest invention the NerveGear, virtual reality has now progressed to the point of it being hard to differ from real life.
Once Argus's new launch title Sword Art Online is released, 10,000 people swiftly bought it. Only to come to find that once they are in game, they can't log out, and when they die in the game, they die in real life.
Their only escape from this world is by clearing the game, which stands at 100 floors of beautiful landscape and boss fights. Now, the fate of the helpless 10,000 rest in the hands of the game's strongest player. The only problem is that he's an asshole and doesn't care about them.
The opening song for the Aincrad Arc was "This is War" by 30 Seconds to Mars and it was replaced by "Real Life" by Greek Fire when the Fairy Dance Arc started.
Writers: YamatoSFX, Hayabusa449
Editor/Photoshop Artist: YamatoSFX
In October 2014, it was announced that Jragoswinn and Misanda had left Something Witty Entertainment due to creative differences and their characters had been recast. This led to delay in the production of Episode 5 as new voice actors were cast for the characters of Klein (Dizzasta), Asuna (xbubblemunkyx), and Tiffany (Octopimp).
- The male protagonist of the series. As in the original series, he is an extremely skilled combatant and one of the best players in the game. However, in the abridged version, Kirito is an arrogant and snarky egomaniac who often ridicules other players mercilessly, driving people like Asuna to call him "The Crown Prince of Douchebags". Despite the fact that he knowingly goes out of his way to inconvenience and ridicule other players, this is all a persona. Kirito is actually extremely self-conscious about himself and desperately wants people to like him but doesn't know how to due to his lack of social skills. He originally was so self-conscious that he became shocked and incredibly upset whenever people called him an asshole. Though Kirito complains constantly about weaker players, he is often manipulated into joining miscellaneous quests.
- Misanda (Episode 2) and xbubblemunkyx (Episode 5–present) as Asuna Yuuki/Asuna
- The female protagonist of the series and second in command of the Knights of the Blood Oath. Though she is skilled at combat and strategy, possibly even more than Kirito, she utterly lacks in the fundamentals of gaming, as she was unable to open her menu, send trade requests, understand that the player's names aren't their real ones or even eat. Asuna is adept at dealing with Kirito's narcissism, but it is shown that she is extremely uncomfortable with black characters, namely Tiffany, due to her isolated upbringing. On the surface she appears to be a nice caring person but beneath that she is a borderline psychotic person, also as a result of her upbringing. Despite this she pretends to be nice to people so people will like her for the person she wants people to see rather than the person she is.
- The creator of the NerveGear and head programmer of the game Sword Art Online. He is a big fan of movies from the 30s to the 90s and often makes references to them, but he just as often gets annoyed when no one gets them. In the game he is known as "Heathcliff", the leader of the guild "The Knights of the Blood Oath". He is known to be very sarcastic and often plays cartoon sound effects and silly music when he thinks something is a joke; for example, during Kirito's dual with Kuradeel, he played circus music because he thought it was a clown show.
- As Heathcliff he appears as a stoic leader who is proud to lead his tropes, but he is at constant odds when he comes into contact with Kirito. When they first met face to face he offered him a place in his guild, thinking Kirito would graciously accept, and was caught off guard when he refused. He struggles to keep in this persona though, especially when his fellow guild members annoy him. Does NOT work well under pressure.
- A mysterious girl who appeared in Kirito and Asuna's house one day.
- Kazuto's sister. She is a very aggressively sporty and very sarcastic person, possible more than Kazuto. She constantly makes fun of Kazuto, particularly about him injuring his penis when he accidentally ripped out his catheter when he woke up, and especially about his "online wife" who she doesn't believes exists.
- The man who was arranged to marry Asuna in order to stop her father from pulling the plug due to her mounting medical bills. He is a very perverted man who only hides his true nature from his boss, Shouzou Yuki. During the SAO incident he convinced Shouzou Yuuki to buy up the Aincrad servers in order to keep the players alive because it would look good on the company, as such he was the reason Kirito, Asuna and the other remaining players are still alive.He's secretly planning on developing the NerveGear into a mind control device, after learning that anyone with a high enough charisma score could convince anyone else to do whatever task requested, no matter how asinine. Sometimes overestimates the level of control he has over others.
- Cheesemanjoe (Episodes 1 and 3) and Dizzasta (Episode 5 – present) as Klein/BallsDeep69
- The first player that Kirito meets in the game. He made his first character, BallsDeep69, as a joke avatar to use while he got the hang of the game, but was stuck with the name when the creator removed the ability to log out. Kirito refuses to acknowledge Klein's real name (with the exception of when he has an emotional moment) and instead chooses to call him "Balls" or "Ballsy", something other players have continued.
- Cheesemanjoe (Episode 2) and Octopimp (Episode 5–present) as Tiffany
- An African American living in Japan and a player in Sword Art Online. Like Klein/BallsDeep69, he got stuck with the name "Tiffany" after Kayaba removed the ability to log out, and reformatted the players to look like their RL selves. He doesn't appreciate the bravado and idiocy of most players in the game and enjoys putting people on edge and exploiting them, perhaps explaining his friendship with Kirito. He set up a weapons shop where he sells weapons that break easily to unsuspecting customers, and admits that most of the players are idiots and are willing to buy anything and everything and therefore won't notice the difference. Does NOT like interacting with Asuna, due to her constant and extremely awkward attempts to communicate with him in Ebonics.
- A member of the Moonlit Black Cats. She has very poor internet connection, causing her to lag and glitch frequently. She ends up running away because she's worried that her lag will end up getting her guild killed. When Kirito finds her, she is able to show him how much of a jerk he has been to other players.
- Rachel Michelle as Silica
- A young girl trapped in Sword Art Online. Though she was a member of a small party, she split off from her group when her teammates threatened to skin her pet dragon, Pina, for leather-working experience. Silica's naivety ends up getting Pina killed when they are trapped in a battle with higher level monsters, and she is forced to team up with Kirito to resurrect him with the Pnuma flower.
- A skilled blacksmith who runs a weapons shop in Lindas on the 48th Floor. She is, or rather was, best friends with Asuna who frequently visited her shop to repair her sword. She's a introverted recluse who normally refuses to leave her shop, and heavily relies on Asuna as one of her only social contacts.
- MrBuddyVA as Shinichi Nagata/Recon
- A kind player of ALO, who is playing with a dodgy NerveGear, that he bought off the parents of an SAO victim, that randomly pulses the fear center of his brain and ambushes him with his deepest fears.
- A fat young player pretended to be seventeen.
- Sonicring123Dubs as Girl-Guy
- A teenager who pretended to be a girl.
- The leader of the group that forms to fight the First Boss. Aside from Kirito, Asuna, and Tiffany, he is the most intelligent, sensible, and competent member of the group. He is very annoyed by everyone else's complete stupidity and lack of combat skills.
- A player who is under the nonsensical belief that the beta testers of the game are the reason they're stuck in the game. He has a undefined relationship with Diabel but he seemed concerned and shocked when he died. He later join the Aincrad Liberation Front and became the leader of a group trying to claim the position as the leader in a power struggle. He tricked his major rival, Thinker, into being trapped in a secret dungeon and assumed the position in his absence.
- Don Fluffles as Don Fluffles
- A rather sadistic cat that somehow learned to play Sword Art Online.
- LordMegatronG1 as Jeffrey
- A player in Sword Art Online. He is first seen in the fight against the first Floor Boss. He is shown to be insane as he constantly has visions of Jesus, who tells him to kill people. Most of the things Jeffrey says and does are because "Jesus told me to." In Episode 6, it is revealed that Jeffrey is the leader of Laughing Coffin, one of the most feared red guilds in the game. Jeffrey always recites a Bible verse before killing his victims, but they are almost always obscure, inaccurate or made up.
- A cheater and the leader of the Moonlit Black Cats. He is also a manipulative opportunist and noticed that Kirito had very impressive stats, so he "convinced" him to join his guild. The rest of the guild is mostly made up of NPCs from various quests that Keita never finished. Keita figured out that as long as you don't complete the quests the NPCs stay with you and help fight and exploited this to his benefit. Keita owns a hat that adds +50 charisma points when worn, which he uses to convince other players (mostly Kirito) to do certain tasks for him.
- An NPC from the world of Aincrad and is a member of the Moonlit Black Cats guild; the show's version of Ducker. Constantly repeats the scripted line "I have to save my family!".
- An NPC who has a quest involving bandits, he was stolen by Keita to be in his guild.
- LordMegatronG1 as Charlie
- The game's tutorial NPC, who got stolen by Keita to be in his guild, possibly resulting in hundreds of newbies getting killed.
- puccaagarukiss as Rosalia
- A player in Sword Art Online, and previous teammate to Silica. After driving Silica out of their guild, Rosalia follows her and Kirito on their journey, and ambushes them. She reveals herself to be the leader of the low-level guild "Titan's Hand", and orders Kirito to hand the Pnuma flower over to her. She loves to psychoanalyze others in order to manipulate and/ore emotionally break them.
- A timid, clumsy and dim-witted player in Sword Art Online and a prospective victim of a murderer. After her friend Kains was murdered in a Safe Zone, Yolko accompanies Asuna and Kirito in their investigation. Though she is helpful in the beginning of the investigation, Yolko insists the killer is the ghost of her guild leader Griselda, back from the dead to seek revenge on her and Schmitt. She, too, is murdered in a Safe Zone.
- A former member of the same guild as Yolko, Schmitt, Griselda and Grimlock. After he was murdered in a Safe Zone, which caused his former teammate and friend, Yolko, to ask Asuna and Kirito to investigate what happened to him.
- ChaseFace and KaggyVA as Schmitt
- A cowardly and paranoid player in Sword Art Online who was often afraid of his angry fans and couldn't handle pressure. He makes a brief appearance in the fifth episode as the prospective victim of the murderer Asuna and Kirito are investigating. Schmitt worked as a game reviewer in the real world, and, since being trapped in the game, has become paranoid that his more hateful commenters will take advantage of his predicament and make attempts on his life.
- Sonicring123Dubs as Johnny Black
- One of the members of Laughing Coffin who is not very happy with Jeffrey's decisions on how to lead the guild. He wanted the guild to be bigger than the three members they had and for it to be more profitable.
- The husband of his guilds leader, Griselda.
- The former leader of the guild Golden Apple. She was killed by an unknown player six months before the events of her episode.
- A member of the Knights of the Blood Oath who was introduced as Asuna's bodyguard. He appeared to be a quiet man, until he met Kirito that is. After which he became easily annoyed by his constant insults regarding his face, which included comparisons to Voldemort and Jeff Golblum in the Fly. He also appeared to have little concept of personal space as he broke into Asuna's house and watched her sleep to make sure he was doing his job properly, failing to see the irony obviously.
- Cheesemanjoe and KaggyVA as Corvatz
- One of the players who fought the First Boss, during which he and another player came up with a strategy of grouping up "and hit it 'til it dies". He later became a "General" of the Aincrad Liberation Front. During this time he found an item that punctuated his words with Spanish Guitar and started talking in an accent to "boost morale among my men", ironically resulting in the opposite.
- An announcer who comments on fights in Collinia. He has a calm fact based form of commentary, unlike his colleague Bob.
- An announcer who comments on fights in Collinia. He has a loud form of commentary and seems unable to count.
- A member of the Knights of the Blood Oath who is a hardcore roleplayer. He adopts a butchered Shakespearean style of speech and annoys everyone as a result.
- MrBuddyVA as The King of Ashes
- A blood thirsty player who ends up ruling over the mob that destroyed Collinia after Kirito and Heathcliff's duel.
- A player who owns an orphanage for the children of the game who are too young to go out fighting Bosses. Has a limit to how far she can be ignored and taken advantage of.
- A member of the Aincrad Liberation Front. She is a loyal follower of one of the Guild members, Thinker, due to her blind love for him. She, like most players, didn't see/expect Kibaou to gain so many followers and start a rebellion in the guild to overthrow Thinker. Does not understand the meaning of the word "irony".
- One of the players fighting to be the leader of the Aincrad Liberation Front after it devolved into infighting. He wishing for peace and is at constant odds with Kibaou. Despite his name, as Yui points out, he isn't the brightest bulb on the Christmas tree and he was tricked into going to a "peace talk" with Kibaou which was held in a dungeon. To his surprise it was a trap to leave him there with no equipment.
- An old man who fishes for the sole reason of having sex with them.
- Asuna's father. A greedy man who was almost tempted to cut his daughter's life support in order to save money on medical bills, but was only stopped when his lawyers pointed out that would "cause more problems that it would probably solve". So he opted to "marry her off" to one of his employees instead, even though he didn't know his name or what he was like. Is the source of Asuna adopting stereotypical racial slang when talking to members of other racial groups.
- BlazingAzureCrow as PantySmasher
- A player of ALO. He unwinds from his job at the soup kitchen by pretending to be a sexual predator.
- MrBuddyVA as Dylan/DeezGunz
- A player of ALO who roleplays as a perverted Hillbilly.
- A player of ALO who roleplays as a perverted southerner.
- The Prince of the Sylphs, who is engaged to Leafa.
- Ken Tynan as The Math Tree
- A creepy tree, designed to teach kids math.
- YamatoSFX: Kirito, Beta-Tester's Roommate, Timmy, Additional Voices
- Hayabusa449: Kuradeel (Episode 8 & Episode 9), Fatty (Episode 1), Kibaou (Episode 2), "The Bandits Are Coming" NPC (Episode 3), Kains, Additional Voices
- Jragoswinn: Klein (1/2), Narrator, Tiffany (1/2), Beta-Tester, Stephen, Caps Lock Guy, Sir Jack Dapper, Nicholas the Renegade
- Misanda: Asuna (1/2), Gregory the Butler & Info Broker (Episode 3)
- Sonicring123: Girl Guy (Episode 1), Party Member (Episode 4), The Three Bromigos (Episode 5), extras, Johnny Black (Episode 6)
- Dizzasta: Klein (2/2), Goon 1 and 3 (Episode 4), Announcer (Episode 7)
- xbubblemunkyx: Asuna (2/2)
- Octopimp: Tiffany (2/2)
- Megami33: Lizbeth (Episode 7 and Episode 9)
- Takahata101: Kayaba Akihiko/Heathcliff (Episode 1, Episode 9, Episode 10 and Episode 11)
- Lennon Drake as Suguha Kirigaya/Leafa
- KaiserNeko: Grimlock (Episode 6), Nobuyuki Sugou/Oberon (Episode 12)
- TehExorcist: Diabel (Episode 2)
- LordMegatronG1: Jeffrey & Voices in Jeffrey's Head, Charlie (Episode 3 and Episode 6)
- Spritestuff: Keita (Episode 3)
- AtomicVoice: Gary
- NikoruChan18: Sachi (Episode 3)
- SakiSeshi: Dungeon Announcer (Episode 3)
- Senile Snake: Mob Goon (Episode 3)
- Rachel Michelle: Silica (Episode 4), Yolko (Episode 5 and Episode 6)
- puccaagarukiss: Rosalia (Episode 4)
- KaggyVA: "Dream" Kirito, Goon 2, Additional Voices (Episode 4), Schmitt (2/2)
- Daniel Hodge: Additional voices (Episode 4)
- ChaseFace: Schmitt (1/2)
- Sonicring123Dubs: Johnny Black (Episode 6 and Episode 9)
- MOM0KI: Griselda (Episode 6)
- Antfish: Godfree (Episode 9)
- Lanipator: Bob (Episode 9)
- Eagle8burger: Sam (Episode 9)
- redasatomato: Yui (Episode 9, Episode 10 & Episode 13)
- BuddyVA: King of Ashes (Episode 10 & Episode 11)
- Hayden Daviau: Sasha (Episode 10)
- AliFluro: Yulier (Episode 10)
- Faulerro: Thinker (Episode 10)
|Episode 1||Mar 29, 2013|
|Episode 2||Aug 19, 2013|
|Episode 3||Dec 21, 2013|
|Episode 4||Apr 9, 2014|
|Episode 5||Dec 11, 2014|
|Episode 6||Apr 22, 2015|
|Episode 7||Jul 31, 2015|
|Episode 8||Nov 1, 2015|
|Episode 9||Mar 11, 2016|
|Episode 10||Aug 28, 2016|
|Episode 11||Mar 27, 2017|
Fairy Dance Arc
|Episode 12||Dec 14, 2017|
|Episode 13||Aug 24, 2018|
|Episode 14||Oct 4, 2019|
|Episode 15||Sep 25, 2020|
Differences from the Original
For differences from the Aincrad Arc click here. For differences from the Fairy Dance Arc click here.
Notable Improvements From Original Series
- Despite being rather different from his original counterpart. Kirito's personality is much more fleshed out throughout the anime. His character arc is also more noticeable. He starts off as an arrogant, socially awkward nerd with a god complex, and isolates himself from others, only to cover up the fact that he's a complete loser in real life and is isolated by society. By the end of the Aincrad arc, he becomes a decent person, who at least has some faith in humanity and has actually opened himself to having genuine relationships with others.
- Kirito has PTSD from Sachi's death in Episode 3 (as someone should have from seeing someone die right in front of them). This is shown at the beginning and middle of Episode 4, teased in Episode 5, Episode 7, referred to again in Episode 9 and so forth. Something he also had in the original, but didn't whine about as much.
- Like Kirito, Asuna's personality is also given time to be fleshed out and established. Asuna is notably a bitch, but described as strong, confident, absolutely fucking terrifying, racist, and even more insane than Kirito himself. However, Asuna also shows that she is caring about people, particularly Kirito and while she does use him like a tool at certain times, at other times, she accepts graciously that he's a good person (such as in Episode 11).
- Kirito and Asuna's romantic relationship is played much more like a teenage romance. They often times don't know what to do, like in Episode 10 when they are constantly confused on where to go in their relationship. Before that, they often butt heads and have arguments, which only seems to pull them closer together.
- Every girl in Kirito's 'Harem' in the original series is given a reason to not continue to pursue him (so far), aside from Asuna. In Episode 4, Silica remarks that Kirito is 'the worst person she's ever met.' In Episode 7, Lisbeth is threatened by Asuna near the end of the episode, that if she tries to make a move on Kirito, Asuna will most likely murder her. Later, Lisbeth becomes content after realizing Kirito is an asshole and he's not the best romantic partner. As of Episode 13, it's been thoroughly established that Suguha is a total bitch to Kirito about practically everything and never passes up the chance to mock him. The reason for this is not concrete, but it may just be that Suguha emphasizes what Kirito went into SAO to escape from, that he's a complete loser in real life. No romantic feelings are implied.
- Certain characters are given more of a purpose than in the series and connect the main characters more.
- Klein (Ballsdeep69), serves as Kirito's constant reminder that giving people chances and letting himself be open to relationships, may not be so bad. He remarks in Episode 11, that he indeed made a difference in Kirito and is overjoyed by it.
- Yui serves to bring Asuna and Kirito closer together, rather than just be their daughter. Yui also showcases upfront that self-sacrifice is a genuinely kind act, as well as admitting one's mistakes isn't that hard either, an act that later makes Kirito and Asuna both more mature in the long run.
- Rosalia, completely guesses correctly that Kirito only plays tough and that being trapped in a game was the best thing that could happen to him, whereas it's only as she predicts, an act. This conversation shows up in various other episodes, Kirito either denying that Rosalia was right, or painfully accepting that she was right.
- Kayaba, the similarities between Kirito and Kayaba are apparent. They both are socially inept gamers with god complexes. However, when they talk in Episode 11, Kirito has already gone through a character arc and disagrees that people are completely incompetent. He proceeds to mock Kayaba and then ask for a rematch. The final difference is when Kayaba is defeated, and he mentions Dungeonmaster, a series Kirito has never heard of before, despite Kirito recognizing all of Kayaba's previous references.
- Kayaba's reasoning to trap everyone in SAO is turned into a literal gag.
- The fishing arc which served as a means to flesh out the characters in the OG, is skipped.
- They are YouTube partners, & are currently on the network "Screenwave Media"
- The cat they used for Don Fluffles is from the anime "Ghost Stories". The dub of that show is notorious for the ad-libbed dialogue the characters say, and is commonly referred to as the shows "official abridged series".
- During episode 11 Klein becomes so overjoyed he can barely talk, but he's actually saying "No pod is worth two slaves! I'm a Toydarian, Jedi mind tricks don't work on me, only money!" from Star Wars Episode I.
As far as abridged series go, the thing that usually turns me off are the people making them. Sometimes, poor editing, while not entirely annoying, can detract from even the most well-crafted scripts. Other times, is it usually just the original source material entering a point where it becomes hard to churn out your own witty and original content. But the biggest thing that really grinds my gears would have to be when people don't respect the original material all that much. A good abridged parody should be about more than just putting random sex jokes and inserting crass humor whenever possible (seriously, I see this in a LOT of bad abridged series. And even some good ones.)
Fortunately, the good folks at Something Witty Entertainment live up to their name and found a way to turn one of the most criticized anime of the new decade into one of the best, through a combination of clever writing, exceptional voice casting and some other third thing that I can't think of at the moment because I'm too impatient to finish this monologue.
That's how good this next review will be! Look out everyone! It's Sword Art Online Abridged!
Created by Matthew Kok (known on the internet as YamatoSFX) and Mackenzie Murdock (known as Hayabusa449, and the only "Murdock" cooler than Daredevil), the series takes one glaring flaw of the show (admittedly, out of many) and fixes it. During the Aincrad arc, the players trapped inside the game didn't reallly act like a bunch of otaku nerds living out their worst nightmare; it was really like they were just living in an alternate world like any other seen in fiction. There are many references to gaming tropes early on in the series that I don't want to give away; in fact, giving away anything about content of the show will ruin any incentive to see it for yourself. And if I did tell you some of the jokes (and feels) they wouldn't be able to give you the same gut punches and bursts of emotion that you get from seeing the show for the first time. Instead, I should probably tell you the main points of why you should see this show.
I've never personally seen the English dub of SAO, and now I certainly won't bother to after watching this show. The lengths YamatoSFX and Hayabusa449 went to in order to is nothing short of phenomenal, considering they have even fewer resources than Team Four Star (another great abridging channel; I probably don't even have to tell you what series THEY abridge).
Klein's voice actor changes over the course of the series (the current guy is Dizzasta. Some of you may have heard of him!), but both of those guys were completely able to NAIL the awesomeness that he is.
...You wouldn't be able to handle how amazingly they pulled off Agil. I'm sorry. Saying any more would ruin the joke, to quote the words of Murdock himself.
She is voiced by Megami33, another famous Youtuber most known for being the voice of Bulma in TFS Abridged! She is EXACTLY what I expected English Lisbeth to sound like! She manages to bring the kind of energy and humor needed to tackle this amazing character.
What all CAN I say about this character? All I can say is this - in this series, they gave her the justice she never recieved in the original.
She is voiced by xbubblemunkyx, a very notable VA in various other abridged works (YaroShien's Fairy Tail as Ezra Scarlett, XCaliborg's The Prince and the Pussy as one of those tanned girls, someone's Magi abridged as Jafar, etc). This girl (her real name is Carrie) is AMAZING!! Taking aside her gravity as a comedic actor, Carrie is also very talented at doing serious lines. She's become one of my favorite voice actresses to listen to.
Unfortunately, now I'm slowly starting to picture HER as Asuna instead of the bubbly and kind Cherami Leigh. That's real great. Thanks a lot, SWE.
I'm just gonna spoil this because most of you probably guessed this from the thumnail.
KIRITO IS AN ASSHOLE!!!
And not only that! Once Sachi dies, he becomes a CRAZY ASSHOLE.
Don't let that deter you though. The clever writing has made it so that you actually FEEL for this version of him. This Kirito actually goes on an emotional journey and slowly begins to let go of his assholish tendences and start caring about other people. I know I talked a lot about how funny these guys are, but Episode 8 shows an all-too familiar fight scene overlapped by an original monologue that still tears at my heartstrings every now and again.
Don't let his exterior fool you. This version of the Black Swordsman is the best version of him by far. He is voiced by YamatoSFX himself.
The source of MUCH of this show's humor is "brick humor". Thus, it is important that you watch ALL of the episodes from the beginning all the way to its most recent episode. If you do, I can promise you that your funny bones will be in for the ride of a lifetime!
The story is mostly the same as the original; the only real changes were that the circumstances of pivotal scenes and episodes were changed to fit their plan (i.e. Kirito and Silica getting ambushed by Rosalia, the first boss fight in Episode 2 of the original show, Kirito and Asuna's first kiss)
The editing wasn't too shabby, all things considering. For one thing, it certainly explained why there were long wait times between episodes (although some of that in the beginning were due to creative differences between the voice cast and the creators). I don't really know what more to say.
Paling only to TFS in terms of quality, SAO Abridged is a worthy successor to its original by leaps and bounds, although I would still check out the original series first, preferably in subbed, just so you can tell for yourselves which version you prefer. SAO for me was indeed a beautiful show, but the abridged series has the two things the original simply did not have: good characters and good writing. Although, to be fair, that's the fault of Reki Kawahara than it is of anyone else.
SAO Abridged can be found on YouTube under the channel of Something Witty Entertainment.
I personally rate this abridged series a 9 out of 10.
Sword Art Online Abridged: Fixing The Original
Watching anime has only recently become a western pastime. Despite originating as early as the 1910s and developing during World War 2 with propaganda films like Momotaro: Sacred Sailors, anime wouldn’t flourish in Western culture until the 1990s. Nowadays, it’s just as popular as traditional media in the States and the UK. There are now many anime series and films that are both viewed within the West and East. One of the more recently popular shows is Sword Art Online.
Sword Art Online started off as a Japanese light novel series on the 10th of April 2009. Written by Reki Kawahara, it would eventually receive an animated adaptation, the first season running from July 7th to December 22nd of 2012. The series tells the story of ten thousand people getting trapped in a VR game called Sword Art Online. The rules of the game are simple: if they can fight through the 100 levels of bosses, they will be freed from the game. The catch is, if they die in the game, they die in real life. An interesting premise for a show that sadly didn’t get handled well.
Released by studio A1 Pictures, the show is still going with a new season scheduled to premiere on the 6th of October this year. Despite being popular enough for a third season, Sword Art Online has a VERY mixed reception – from people loving the fully fleshed out romance between the heroes Asuna and Kirito, and the exhilarating fight scenes, to downright hating Kawahara’s clear neglect of how basic game design works, and graphic depiction of girls being exploited, all of the opposing viewpoints have made Sword Art Online easily one of the most frequently debated animes ever.
However, in March 2013, a little channel on YouTube called Something Witty Entertainment took Sword Art Online’s Aincrad story arc, an average product at best, and did something absolutely amazing with it by creating Sword Art Online Abridged. An abridgment is a fan-made parody of an original series, using footage from the show and changing the dialogue to be more comedic. While abridged series are nothing new, SAO abridged is less about being sarcastic and poking fun at the original like typical abridgments, instead taking a drama and turning into a well plotted comedy. From fixing the writing and giving the characters more depth, SWE’s perspective on the deadly virtual reality game is regarded as the show that SAO had the potential of being.
An example of how the abridged series fixes the problems of the original is how events in the series affects character development. During the third episode of the Aincrad story arc, one of the secondary characters ends up dying, an action which the protagonist Kirito blames himself for…over the course of one episode. After this episode has reached its conclusion, the show does nothing to revisit it or go into further detail about this affects Kirito’s mental state. However, this is handled completely differently in the abridged series. Though it is sometimes handled for comedy, the writers always come back to the memory of Kirito being unable to save them and it adds more emotional depth to his character, driving most of the decisions he makes and affecting his interactions with other characters.
Another aspect that the abridged series does better than the original is the romance between Kirito and Asuna. Most anime romances stop after the first kiss, so the fact that this couple get to explore theirs fully is one of the aspects of the show that fans enjoy. It does suffer from the show’s writing, though: they’re supposed to be teenagers in the show, but the romance is treated like an unbelievably healthy adult one.
The pivotal romance scene in both series is when they first spend the night together. The original sees them explore their relationship with little to no issues. However, the abridged sees them panicking as they are not sure how to handle the relationship after having sex, and assume marriage was the next logical step. After some back and forth arguing, they end up both agreeing that they got married too quickly and laugh it off, bringing them closer together. Though the original’s romance is a nice one, the abridged is more entertaining and realistic.
And finally, there is the ending. If there is one aspect about the first season of the show that fans and haters can agree on is the unsatisfying ending to the Aincrad Story Arc. As the protagonists come face to face with Akihiko Kayaba, SAO’s head developer and one of the main antagonists of the first season, when they ask him why he made SAO into a death game, he replies simply saying he forgot. Far from the most satisfying of conclusions.
However, the abridged has a better answer to why this happened. Discovering that the game isn’t exactly player ready and the deadline for its release on the horizon, Kayaba works for three weeks straight to finish the game on time – but in his sleep-deprived state, he accidentally develops a glitch that kills players when their in-game avatar dies, so he locks the players in the game and says it is all part of his master plan. While it doesn’t tie up all the loose ends of the show, it does a much better job of it than the original’s version and is hilarious given the realistic context.
As SAO prepares to release it’s third season, SWE is currently working on their interpretation of SAO’s Alfheim Story Arc, a story that has a lot more problems than the Aincrad Story Arc. Funnily enough, SWE are fans of the original product, going over it and fixing it with painstaking detail. Despite its notoriety, SAO is still going strong. As the people continue to love or hate the original, we can count on the team at SWE to take it and turn into both comedy gold and a wonderfully re-imagined story.
If you wish to support Something Witty Entertainment, check out their channel here. Sword Art Online is available on Netflix and Crunchyroll.
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1 sao abridged
With gestures, they say, "why are you leaving me alone. " The company (the rest) revived, rallied, again toasts and jokes were sent. Sergei, frightened to see, already spread in a manifestation of tenderness and eloquence. And we'll have a drink at brotherhood, and we'll hug and stroke intimate places.
Svetka from Bones are sent to another room.SAO Abridged Parody: Episode 01
Stas sat down on the sofa. Larissa sat down on his lap, and Marina clung to the side. Stas hugged Larisa around the waist, and Marina over her shoulder.
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Your face almost completely entered me. You stroked your clitoris with your nose. You're an empty bottle of champagne.